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How NAFTA Could Spoil a Keystone XL Rejection


How NAFTA Could Spoil a Keystone XL Rejection

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

Environmental campaigners cheered this week when President Barack Obama vetoed a Congressional bill approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and urged him tostand up for the climate and fully reject TransCanada's tar sands pipeline project.

Yet if that rejection happens, observers point out that it could put a costly burden on U.S. taxpayers.

That's because of the corporate-friendly North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).


Someone way back there warned against foreign entanglements. This was sound advice and too seldom considered. This could be an other Clinton ass biting that we will deal with in due course. Please no more Clintons, one was quite enough.


What an odd lot we are; we don’t want any more Clintons, but may get another.
We don’t want any more Bushes, but may get another.
What’s wrong with us?


Where does one begin? This is a moral outrage the American people will never stand for. Not only from the standpoint of KXL being a guaranteed environmental debacle but making us pay limitless damages for simply protecting this country’s people from hazardous chemicals in our air-water-food?!. But isn’t this a form of blackmail? At very least a catch 22? NAFTA has given the ‘shafta’ to the American people and now this?! It is stunningly obvious that TPP and NAFTA have lanquage allowing massive corporations the right to trample over our soverignty - should they feel like it.



Does anyone think that Obama isn’t aware of this?


NAFTA’s ISDS provisions suck for sure but it’s interesting to see how upset Americans are when they might have to pay and how silent it is normally, normally being the Americans suing the Canadians.

Canada currently faces 9 ISDS challenges totaling $6billion from US corporations. These include challenges to a ban on fracking by the Quebec provincial government (Lone Pine); a decision by a Canadian federal court to invalidate a pharmaceutical patent on the basis that it was not sufficiently innovative or useful (Eli Lilly); provisions to promote the rapid adoption of renewable energies (Mesa); a moratorium on offshore wind projects in Lake Ontario (Windstream); and the decision to block a controversial mega-quarry in Nova Scotia (Clayton/Bilcon).
Canada has already lost or settled six claims, paid out damages totaling over $170 million and incurred tens of millions more in legal costs. Mexico has lost five cases and paid damages of US$204 million. The U.S. has never lost a NAFTA investor-state case.

i hope they never build KXL in large part because of the Ogallala Aquifer is so crucial to feeding so many people and other life forms, but i also wish Americans weren’t so damned jingoistic.


It’s the American corporations who will get the money if the win…those increased profits will be primarily paid out to the large shareholders (not all American). The American people won’t be the winners.


With a current world population of over seven billion and a couple of hundred or less that owns or controls about ninety percent of the world’s wealth and resources, it would seem to me that they are pretty well outnumbered. Perhaps it is time to put them in one of their own “for profit” prisons and redistribute the looted wealth of the world to the people.

  • Think what the world could be like if the ***P***eople of the ***W***orld took away the Oilagarchy’s war toys and their stock markets and used that capital to provide housing, decent medical care, ban the GMOs and farm normal crops. Wouldn’t it be wonderful for the world to enjoy peace, compromise, give and take, rather than face invisible missiles from stealthy drones that kill us indiscriminately and legal systems that rob the poor to give to the rich?
  • Some of their pirated loot could go into rebuilding the vast areas that have been denuded of trees, stripped of metals and minerals and left as nothing but tailings dumps spreading pollution every time it rains. That rebuilding, worldwide, could foster many meaningful jobs, supporting millions of people in various areas.
  • Some of the loot could go into rebuilding our shattered educational system so our kids could learn to think and reason, not just memorize tests.
  • I could go on for pages, but the idea is clear; that tiny Oilagarchy must go, by legal means if possible, but they must go, now!


Hoist on their own petard!! The USA has managed to bring so many actions via the WTO, another big benefit for corporations, against other countries, and has destroyed Mexico’s agriculture via NAFTA, so why not a big loss to Canada? All of these anti-environment, anti-human secret deals deserve to be tossed aside, but what does anything matter except profits for the few and endless wars on “terror”??


Hi martman, sorry, i didn’t mean to imply that Main st, Americans would be getting any of the dough [or Canadians if the bloodsuckers at TransCanada do sue]. What i was trying to on was how one sided and uber-patriotic some of the comments are when in reality it’s American corporations doing the suing.


What’s wrong? Well maybe it is that we refuse to use the voting booth to get what we say we want in poll after poll and instead chicken out and go with the LOTE because we have been told, by the MSM, they are the “best we can get” and besides we all “know” that “3rd parties can’t win” - until we drop the scales from our eyes, develop some intestinal fortitude, and give the lie to this absolute rubbish - we will keep getting the same …


Oh sure, we will “stand for this” - and in fact many will be pissed that the Admin put the US in a position of being sued should it finally deny the pipeline -

Now that i think about it - maybe that is one reason for the stall, if it is denied, and Trans-C goes all NAFTA on it - it would shine a light on the travesty of the TPP - so better wait 'til after the TPP is passed …

I am really getting discouraged about the ability of the Amer. people to grow any political backbone - we have the power to throw the bums out, and the opportunity, yet time after time we fail to do so …


Thank you - that was very interesting - i wonder how many times a protective law has failed to have been passed because of the knowledge of a threat of a lawsuit …


The problem is - it is the “little guy” and the environment that loses …


That’s why it ain’t over 'til the fat lady sings …


Repeal NAFTA…Time to distance our self from that turd of an agreement.Problem would be solved…And for gods sake turn down the TPP deal…The USA does not need foreign intervention into our laws…All lawmakers who agree with this shit are criminals…anyone who does not see it this way is taking money from these assholes and you cant believe a thing they say.


We have to remember that Obama vetoing the XL pipeline bill
has pushed the SO-CALLED free trade bill which actually takes
every right the U.S. citizens have LEFT today.

No way in h… can anyone tell me that Obama does not often speaks
with a fork tongue and know what he is doing…


The “gasoline additive” scenario the article mentions is not theoretical. It has already been done over the California attempt to ban carcinogenic MTBE. The claim was denied (twice) but probably more that it was the US that would end up paying. The NAFTA secret courts are notoriously spun in favour of US interests… quel surprise.


Mostly these NAFTA-Chapter 11-type clauses (no, not bankruptcy, another clever distraction) are used by US corporations/lobbies to extort money from foreign countries. To add to the fun, there is a twist where the foreign subsidiary of a US corporation sues the US gov’t under one of the endless NAFTA-clone trade agreements.

And the lawyers make out like bandits.


The best argument against the Keystone XL Pipeling I’ve heard:
= Build a pipeline from Oklahoma to Dakota Bakkan fields instead =
Reduces demand for off-shore drilling in the Gulf.
Reduces hazards of rail transport and marine terminals.
Safety upgrades to existing petro facilities and corridors.
Fuels find more domestic uses.

Why build hundreds of miles more pipeline to Alberta tar sands?
Answer: Coarse tar sands oil readily fuels freighter engines.
Wage-slave driven global trade, nevermind global warming.


And what about the secretive TPP !!!
Watch out !!!